Venice Commission Confirmed Individual Responsibilities in Albania’s Constitutional Crisis, Says President Meta

Albanian President Ilir Meta has drawn public attention to the latest two Venice Commission opinions on the Constitutional Court crisis and the so-called anti-defamation law, following attempts by individuals and media close to the ruling party to interpret them differently.

In a press conference on Monday, President Meta summarized the four main points of the Venice Commission opinion on the appointment of Constitutional Court members.

Firstly, the Commission confirmed that the cause of the crisis was the illegal actions of the former chair of the Justice Appointments Council (KED), Ardian Dvorani. Meta said the opinion clearly states that Dvorani holds individual responsibility because he took personal decisions without holding meetings, as required by law.

Secondly, it confirmed that the KED acted in a non-transparent manner by not allowing the Ombudsman to attend meetings and by not publishing its activity as required.

Thirdly, the Commission confirmed that President Meta’s actions were not only in accordance with the law but they preserved the whole process of appointments to the Constitutional Court.

Fourthly, the Commission confirmed the anti-constitutionality of the law presented by the Socialist majority to prevent the President from taking oaths of Constitutional Court members.

Regarding the government’s laws aiming at censoring online media, President Meta stated that the Venice Commission opinion had refuted the laws. This is in contrast to Socialist Party second-in-command Taulant Balla’s claim that the laws need slight improvements. 

He stressed the fact that it was the Council of Europe to ask for Venice Commission’s opinion on them.

An unprecedented act has taken place, because the Council of Europe itself took [the law] to the Venice [Commission]. This issue should not have even been discussed at all,” Meta stated.